Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy meal and jam packed with flavor!

Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top this stuffed pepper recipe with cheese and bake until bubbly. 

Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).

cooked Easy Stuffed Peppers in a dish

An Easy Family Favorite

Bell Peppers filled with a zesty filling are a recipe that everyone loves! They take a little bit of time to make but are easy to make.

  • We fill them with a saucy rice, beef, and sausage filling. Substitute any ground meat.
  • They can be pared ahead of time and stuffed peppers reheat and freeze well.
  • Stretch out the stuffed pepper filling with extra chopped veggies. If your peppers are small and you have leftover filling, fill zucchini or even wrap it cabbage roll style!
  • If you’d like them extra saucy, add extra marinara to the baking pan.
Peppers , Rice , Cheese , Onion, Tomatoes , Garlic , Beef , Marinara , Sausage and seasonings to make Easy Stuffed Peppers with labels

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers

  • Meat – I use a combination of lean ground beef and Italian sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer). If substituting the sausage, you’ll want to add some extra seasonings to the mix!
  • Rice – I use long grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice. Any rice or grain will work although you may need to adjust the liquid slightly.
  • Sauce – Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.
  • Bell Peppers – I most often make these with green bell peppers but any sweet peppers work. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, choose red, orange, or yellow peppers.
  • Cheese – Cheese is optional but I love it on stuffed peppers! Use shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Stuffed Pepper recipe ingredients in a pot

How to make Stuffed Peppers

Making stuffed bell peppers is easy, although it does take a bit of time.

  1. Brown Meat: Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per recipe below).
  2. Cook Rice: Add tomato sauce, rice, water, and seasonings. Cook until rice is tender.
  3. Prepare Peppers: While the filling is cooking, prepare your peppers by simmering or air frying for a few minutes to soften.
  4. Fill & Bake: Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat, and rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Taco Stuffed Peppers).

Stuffed Peppers in baking dish with tomato sauce
Do you have to pre-cook peppers before stuffing them?

While you don’t have to precook the peppers, they will be quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. We much prefer the flavor when they’ve been cooked a bit before filling them.

How long to cook stuffed peppers.

Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.

What goes with stuffed peppers?

These are a full meal on their own but we love to serve them with crusty bread or homemade rolls for sopping up any sauce in the bowl.

Can you freeze stuffed peppers?

Absolutely! We love stuffed peppers because they’re delicious but they also freeze beautifully. Since the filling is cooked these can be frozen either before or after baking. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and cook for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

Make Ahead & Leftovers

Keep leftovers in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days.

This easy stuffed peppers recipe can frozen either before or after baking. To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare as directed below and freeze in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Once baked, leftovers can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To reheat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

More Bell Pepper Recipes We Love

Bell peppers are great added to sauces, soups, stews and more! Here are a few of our favorite bell pepper recipes!

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish
4.96 from 418 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Stuffed Peppers

Tender bell peppers are stuffed with a zesty beef & rice filling with tomato sauce, then baked until golden & bubbly!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 6 bell peppers
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces, with juice
  • ½ cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
  • ½ cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese shredded, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers (reserve the tops), remove and discard the seeds and membranes. Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers for 5 minutes or cook the peppers in an air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes. Remove and drain well if simmering.
  • In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more water if needed. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan and place peppers cut-side-up in pan. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over peppers.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom. Top with cheddar and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.

Video

Notes

If you want firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed. Peppers can be pre-cooked by simmering, air frying, or baked for 15 minutes at 400°F.
Additional vegetables, such as diced zucchini or chopped mushrooms, can be added to the filling.
Stuffed peppers can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven until heated through. 
4.96 from 418 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 933mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4255IU | Vitamin C: 166.8mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. very good…here’s my recipe:6 peppers sliced in 1/2 par boiled to soften…6-8 bacon strips cooked crispy and chopped, 1 onion Diced and softened in 1/2 of the bacon grease, add 1 lb burger, brown nicely, salt, pepper to taste, dash or 2 of cumin, when all browned I add 1 and 1/3 C. of uncooked white rice, 2 cans of original Rotel, bacon pieces, and about 1/2-3/4 C. of water stir and simmer until rice is done about 15 min. let cool about 10 min….add fresh parmesean and stuff those peppers add more parm and add just a enough water in 9×13 pans in bottom to keep from burning, cover and heat through 30 [email protected] 350…….4 stars

  2. I made these for my boyfriend, and he loved them…it’s easy to make, albeit a little time consuming, but in the end, he absolutely loves them!5 stars

  3. Oh my goodness these are so easy to make and very delicious will be making again soon family just liv d them and thank you for sharing5 stars

  4. Absolutely delicious! I did add celery as I had a LOT on hand and also chopped fresh cherry tomatoes with basil in my vitamix instead of canned. Cleaning excesses out of kitchen and they turned out wonderful!5 stars

  5. The most absolutely delicious stuffed peppers I have ever made! I loved cooking the rice with the tomatoes and seasonings. What a great idea to mend all those flavors together. This was such a hit at dinnertime! Really deserves a Top Ten rating!5 stars